Each organization shared with Senator Franken their perspectives on recovery accomplishments to date and what is still needed to complete the recovery after last year’s devastating floods.
A major area of discussion centered on the resources available to complete recovery efforts. Holly Sampson, president of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, spoke about the $250,000 in matching dollars available through the Foundation for donations to the Regional Flood Fund and the collaborative efforts of local foundations to assist households, nonprofits, and businesses. The Regional Flood Fund needs an additional $90,000 in donations to maximize the DSACF match.“If we can maximize the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation match, we will have the resources needed to complete all but five large reconstruction projects,” said Jodi Slick, Ecolibrium3 CEO and chair of the Regional Long Term Recovery Committee. “We are so close, but we need everyone to give a little to help get families back to pre-flood conditions.”
Dean Minardi, the regional reconstruction manager with Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, shared that disaster case managers are still working with approximately 250 households to complete recovery. Much of the recovery efforts to date have focused on getting people to the state and federal loan resources available.
This summer, however, the focus is on matching homeowners with volunteers and materials to complete rebuilding activities.
“Next week, we will have 90 volunteers in town from Kansas,” said Minardi. “They will be working on 20 different homes with materials provided through the Regional Flood Fund.”
Senator Franken was impressed by the collaborative efforts in the region and recognized that a year-later is a hard time for disaster recovery.
“When a disaster first happens everyone is out helping the community,” he said. “There is a great spirit. Now is this time in which the work is so much more difficult, but so important.”
The meeting was hosted by the Lincoln Park Business Group’s member organization Ecolibrium3. Ecolibrium3 has assisted 122 low-income Duluth households with energy efficient flood recovery through a partnership with the Ordean Foundation and support from DSACF and Duluth LISC.
Donations to the Regional Flood Fund can be sent to: Regional Flood Fund, c/o United Way of Greater Duluth, 424 W. Superior Street, Suite 402, Duluth, MN 55802 or at www.floodhomeswithhope.org. Donations can be doubled through the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation matching grant and are utilized throughout the six flood-affected counties of northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.